Wetum and James Bay Winter Road Street View Collect Project March 4-8, 2019

I attended Google Earth Outreach’s Geo for Good conference for the first time in October 2016. This workshop is intended for nonprofit mapping and technology specialists (of which I am not – I am just fortunate to be able to learn in these fields); and Google Earth Outreach is a program that helps provide nonprofits and public benefit organizations with knowledge and resources to visualize their cause and tell their story in Google’s mapping tools. I had the opportunity to attend again in 2018, and met Tawanda Kanhema. Originally from Zimbabwe, Tawanda has lived and worked in the Bay area, California for the past 10 years and recently traveled back to his home to put Zimbabwe on Google Maps/Street View.

We chatted about where I am from (northeastern Ontario), and where I work (CreeGeo/Mushkegowuk Council Information Services). I remember talking about the importance of the Winter Roads to connect remote communities in the colder months (in warm months, they are fly-in), and lamenting the fact that Wetum and James Bay Winter roads were not on Google Street View (not to mention any of the communities). If these roads were on Google Maps, it would afford anyone using this service to be a virtual tourist, and take a virtual drive up these roads from anywhere in the world. Not only that, but my hope would be to provide education to others about why these roads are integral to Mushkegowuk communities, and as a thank you to all of the people who work hard to maintain these roads during its season.

With some planning, this project is coming to fruition on Monday, March 4th. We leave Timmins Monday morning and will be on the road visiting the communities of Moosonee, Moose Factory, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany throughout the week. We have welcomed community members to share stories about the winter road and will also show students the equipment being used and hopefully ignite some curiosity! Thank you to the above communities and to Mushkegowuk Council for allowing us to engage in this opportunity.

Wetum Road / James Bay Winter Road Street View project travelers:

Tawanda Kanhema – Photographer, Kanhema Photo

Alan Sanchez – Filmmaker, Sanchez Media LLC

Melissa Lavoie – CreeGeo

Ed Sutherland – CreeGeo

Michaela Paradis – CreeGeo

Dr. David Pearson – Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, Laurentian University

See the Twitter post below for our travel schedule!

 

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Walk With Us visiting Taykwa Tagamou Nation June 23, 2018

Walk With Us will be visiting Taykwa Tagamou Nation on Saturday, June 23rd to capture Street View imagery of the community! We’ll be meeting in front of the band office at 1:00 pm, so if you’re in the neighborhood, please say hello and learn more about the Walk With Us project. WWU thanks Chief Bruce Archibald and TTN for hosting us! Stay tuned for Street View and a virtual tour.

Walk With Us Poster_ TTN June 23, 2018

For more information about Walk With Us: @WWUProject   #walkwithusproject

For more information about CreeGeo Education: CreeGeoEd FB Page

 

Walk With Us partners with DGTL Creator Studio

Walk With Us held our May 3rd meeting at the Timmins Museum’s DGTL Creator Studio. Under the guidance of Tyler Levesque; Julian, Natalie and Neebin learned about lighting techniques using LEDGO equipment and portable reflectors – and therefore how to take the perfect selfie. 😉

Click the Spark story below for a glimpse into our meeting!

CreeGeo Photo Stories

Ricoh Theta S + Google Street View

As part of a new online course at the ACCESS Centre here in Timmins, Ontario, I was asked to give two half-day workshops at the end of the month. The students will learn how to use the Ricoh Theta S camera along with the Google Street View app in order to take 360′ images at Gillies Lake. They will then upload these images into D2L’s ePortfolio app as part of their learning journey. Walk With Us Project will be lending eight 360′ cameras to support this unit. My presenter Slides are below:

Walk With Us Project: Inspiration and Implementation

The Walk With Us Project was inspired by two events.

During the 2015-16 school year at Northeastern Catholic DSB, I was visiting classrooms at Bishop Belleau School in Moosonee, Ontario to teach about Google Maps, My Maps and Street View, and their applications in the classroom. Before long, students figured out that their communities were not represented on Street View. They wanted to show where they lived, played and went to school. However, since 360′ imagery is needed for Pegman to “see” in Street View, a discussion began about why there were no pictures, how pictures could be taken, and what would be required.

Fast forward to later in the school year, where a group of high school students created a presentation about the suicide crisis in the Attawapiskat First Nation, Ontario. Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency after 11 young people tried to commit suicide in one day. Since last September, over 100 people in the community of 2,000 have attempted suicide. These students bravely stood in front of their school and spoke passionately about their own experiences grappling with issues they have faced, and how they came to overcome these obstacles. The underlying message was one of hope for a brighter future, and to never give up. They wanted to tell their stories, and we wanted to help. The majority of this group of students are Walk With Us club members.

WWUInspirationPic

For our inaugural year, the Walk With Us project ran as a club at O’Gorman High School (NeCDSB) in Timmins, Ontario. We met every Tuesday during lunch hour (11:30 – 12:30), and documented our journey via TwitterTeach Ontario, and My Blog, although the students also had ideas about how to capture footage and share with the world (including a vlog).

One of our members, Neebin, created our club logo. She explains her thinking behind her colour choices for the finished product:

“The world will be green and blue and the eagle will have original eagle colours, the teepee will be beige and black with the footprints representing the medicine wheel with the colours red, yellow, black, and white.”

wwu-logo

Our project involves using an overlay software called WalkInto, 360′ cameras (Ricoh Theta S) and Google Street View  to provide a  forum for youth to share stories of their upbringing, culture, and traditions, and to discuss the issues that affect them. We hope to increase awareness of some of the challenges Indigenous communities face, and foster hope in the connections we create in order to spread positive messaging and resilience. This project will teach skills that actively prepare learners for the 21st century, one of our board’s improvement planning priorities, including (but not limited to): critical thinking, communicating ideas, understanding media, working with various technologies, and collaborating in teams. Currently, we have funding to visit Mattagami First Nation and Moosonee/Moose Factory, where our students will capture 360′ imagery to submit to Google Street View – quite literally putting their communities on the map.

The students received 360′ photography training via Google Hangout from Neil Cariani, a Google Trusted Photographer in Clarksville, Tennessee and owner of Creative Existence 360. Neil is also volunteering his time to edit the students’ 360′ photos to adhere to Street View quality guidelines, and advises the educators involved in the project. As well, students will participate in virtual tour building training courtesy of Boni Gopalan, founder of WalkInto, also via Google Hangout.

WWUImplementationPic

Engage. Connect. Innovate. Empower. #ISBLbD #walkwithusproject

Back in December 2016, my proposal to facilitate a 90-minute workshop at the International School of Brussels’ Learning by Design conference was accepted. And so began the presenter’s slideshow frenzy…

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Waiting for my flight to Brussels at Pearson with my lunch companion, Google Slides

In preparation, I was asked to plan my workshop with the 4 conference themes in mind:

Engage. Connect. Innovate. Empower. 

To me, these are not only themes – they are calls to action; particularly in my current role as an Educational Technology teacher, and certainly in any role in education.

ISB staff and students were heavily involved throughout the conference, and the LbD planning committee, staff and students must be commended on their delivery of a thoughtful, innovative and engaging conference for all attendees. Here is an article about the conference written by LbD student journalists, highlighting a few of the student projects presented on the last day of the conference.

The support I received as a presenter before, during and even after the conference was nothing short of impressive (special shout-out to the IT department for setting me up with Apple TV!). Each of the workshops, panel discussions and break-out groups were thought-provoking, and, more importantly, I had the opportunity to meet some really great people who I hope to keep in touch with for a long time.

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ISB educators using 360′ cameras and the Google Street View app

Here are my workshop slides. Educators, you can read about some preliminary research about the mapping/storytelling platform, and try it out in your classroom. If you do, please connect with me!